Glasgow Warriors expect European qualification from abbreviated league structure
The Guinness PRO14 is set to restart on the weekend of Saturday 22 August with two rounds of derby games with Edinburgh, which are anticipated to be behind closed doors.
This announcement gives clarity to Glasgow Warriors’ position in Europe for season 2020/21 and what it will take to reach the league play-offs.
With qualification for the Heineken Champions Cup being based on Round 13 of the Guinness PRO14 — the last round before the league was suspended due to the coronavirus lockdown — the club’s current third place position puts Glasgow Warriors in position to compete in the top flight European competition in 2020/21.
In terms of the league, Glasgow Warriors currently sit in third place in Conference A, nine points behind second-placed Ulster. Therefore, the club would need two bonus point victories against Edinburgh and for Ulster to gain no points from their remaining games in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
Glasgow Warriors Managing Director, Nathan Bombrys, said, "We’re excited by the prospect of a return to rugby and the opportunity to complete the Guinness PRO14 season with two games against our rivals at Edinburgh.
“The new abbreviated structure all but ends our chances for a place in the knock-out stages of the competition. With the squad we have and stellar rugby we play I truly believe we were on track to qualify and have a deep run into the play-offs.
“However, with the coronavirus pandemic we accept the position that we are all in was of no one’s making. We support the PRO14’s decision to conclude the season and we look forward to the challenge of two more 1872 Cup games against our rivals from Edinburgh. We can still influence the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, if not for ourselves, then for others."
In the past few months a great deal of effort has been put into developing this new league structure and ensuring a clear and safe return to play. Last week Scottish Rugby confirmed its professional players will begin voluntary fitness sessions from Monday 22 June, as part of that return to play.
Bombrys continued: “I’d like to thank the staff at Scottish Rugby and PRO14, along with our own club staff, who have put so much work into creating a pathway for our players to return to playing rugby in as safe an environment as possible."
This announcement now puts the club in a position to share with its supporters information relating to their 2019/20 season ticket and match ticket purchases. All ticket holders will be contacted shortly to give them options to contribute, refund or credit those purchases. In addition, more information will follow in the coming weeks about the options available to supporters for the 2020/21 season.
Bombrys concluded: “Thank you to the Warrior Nation — particularly our dedicated season ticket holders — for their patience and commitment behind the club during this time. We have truly outstanding supporters.”